If you’re looking at purchasing farm insurance, you may have already found that it’s more complex than auto or home insurance. You’ll have to understand and choose from among several different types of farm and ranch insurance coverages.
In most cases, insuring your farm won’t completely protect your livestock. And likewise, animal insurance doesn’t cover most other parts of your farm. Here’s what you need to know about animal and farm insurance.
What Is Animal Insurance?
Your animals are important to your livelihood, so it makes sense to protect your investment in them through insurance coverage. But just like any type of insurance, livestock insurance is offered at several different levels.
Basic Farm Insurance
Some farm and ranch insurance policies for small to midsize operations include basic insurance for livestock. Under these policies, your animals are only covered while they’re on your farm. Depending on what you do with your animals, this might be all the animal insurance you need.
Cattle and other types of livestock are generally hardy, but there’s always some risk of unexpected death. Peril insurance will reimburse you in certain situations:
- Your animals are stolen
- Your animals die in a fire or explosion
- A natural disaster like a flood or earthquake kills one or more animals
- Your animals die in transport
- A vehicle hits and kills one or more of your animals
This type of insurance covers many (but not all) cases of livestock death. If you want extra coverage, consider a broad peril policy, which will cover other causes of death like coyote attacks or accidental shootings.
Animal Mortality Coverage
Traditional forms of animal insurance do not cover death from disease or illness. But if you want to keep your herd as protected as possible, animal mortality coverage can be great to have.
This type of policy will reimburse you if an animal dies under a range of conditions. However, you will need to prove that your animals are in good health and have no preexisting conditions before you get coverage.
This type of coverage is often purchased on high valued livestock or breeding livestock. If it is worth a lot of money it is worth pricing mortality insurance to see if this purchase is a wise investment to protect against the loss of valuable animals.
Livestock Risk Protection
Even if your livestock are perfectly healthy, unexpectedly low prices can severely limit your income. That’s why the USDA backs an insurance program known as Livestock Risk Protection. With this type of coverage, you’ll be protected if the market price of cattle or other livestock drops significantly. These policies are revenue protection in the event of loss in the market. It will protect your farming operation against those unexpected dips in the market.
Animals are unpredictable by nature. If one of your animals injures an employee or guest, you may find yourself facing a lawsuit. And even if you ultimately win the suit, court fees and the cost of legal representation can add up quickly.
Farm liability insurance works a lot like auto liability insurance works for drivers. If one of your animals damages someone else’s property or injures them, your insurer will cover the costs.
Livestock vs. Poultry Insurance
When you think of farm animal insurance, you might imagine that chickens, turkeys, and other farm birds would be included. But when it comes to insuring your animals, you typically need a poultry-specific policy.
This isn’t always the case, however. At Garrett Insurance, we can help you find the right policy to keep all of your animals covered.
What Other Types of Farm and Ranch Insurance Do You Need?
Animal insurance might cover a significant portion of your farming or ranching operation. But because your farm is your livelihood, it’s important to make sure you keep it covered with the right insurance policies. Here are some types of coverage that usually need to be purchased separately from animal insurance:
Many farmers live on-site. Farm dwelling coverage is essentially like homeowner’s insurance — it covers your personal home and belongings. This type of coverage is separate from insurance for farm buildings.
Most of these policies will protect your home and belongings from a variety of potential losses:
- Wind or tornado damage
- Hail damage
Different policies may have slightly different coverage options. Before you commit to a policy, your insurance agent can go over it with you to make sure you have all the coverage you need.
One related type of insurance you might want to consider is fair rental value coverage. If your home is damaged or otherwise made uninhabitable, your insurance will pay you what it would cost to rent a similar home. That way, you don’t have to spend your own money renting a home while yours is being fixed.
If you produce corn, soybeans, or other crops, getting the right crop insurance policy is essential. This insurance reimburses you for loss of income if your crops are damaged. Most policies cover the following natural events:
- Unexpected drought
- Excessive moisture
Crop insurance is overseen by the federal government and it requires you to purchase coverage before your crops have been planted.
Farm Buildings and Machinery Insurance
Without insurance coverage, damage or loss to a farm building or a piece of machinery can be devastating. It’s a good idea to insure buildings where you house livestock and store crops or machinery.
The exact coverage you get will depend on the types and conditions of your buildings. Older buildings may only be insured for their actual cash value, but newer buildings may be insured for the full cost of replacement.
When it comes to insuring your machinery, different policies have different requirements. Some of them let you add individual pieces of equipment. Others offer blanket coverage for most types of agricultural equipment.
Supplemental Insurance Coverage
Whether you have a specific piece of property you want to insure or just want to make sure your farm is ready for anything, you might decide that supplemental coverage is right for you. For example, you can talk to your agent about insuring irrigation systems, fences, or signs.
Let Us Help You Protect Your Farm
For more than 100 years, Garrett Insurance has helped farmers like you find quality farm insurance. We understand that every farmer is different, so we’ll take the time to sit down with you and help you customize your policy. If you’re ready to find a comprehensive policy at a competitive rate, give us a call, stop by one of our offices in Kansas or Texas, or request a free online quote today!